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Under heavy guard, Congress back to work after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol

PoliticsJan 07, 2021 12:12AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump occupy the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington 2/2

By Patricia Zengerle, Jonathan Landay and David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat. But after hours of chaos in which police battled to regain control, lawmakers returned to Congress to begin certifying Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

In the gravest assault on the symbol of American democracy in more than 200 years, rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, where they roamed the hallways and scuffled with police officers.

Police said four people died - one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies - during the chaos.

Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate. Security officers piled furniture against the chamber's door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.

By Wednesday night, both houses of Congress resumed their debate on the certification of Biden's Electoral College win, and it quickly became clear that objections from pro-Trump Republican lawmakers to Biden's victory in battleground states would be rejected overwhelmingly, including by most Republicans.

"To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today - you did not win," Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the session, said as it resumed. "Let's get back to work," he said, drawing applause.

Police struggled for more than three hours after the invasion to clear the Capitol of Trump supporters before declaring the building secure shortly after 5:30 p.m. (2230 GMT).

One woman died after being shot during the mayhem, Washington police said, although the circumstances were unclear. Three people died due to medical emergencies, said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee.

The assault on the Capitol was the culmination of months of divisive and escalating rhetoric around the Nov. 3 election, with Trump repeatedly making false claims that the vote was rigged and urging his supporters to help him overturn his loss.

The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump - who before the election refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost - addressed thousands of supporters near the White House and told them to march on the Capitol to express their anger at the voting process.

He told his supporters to pressure their elected officials to reject the results, urging them "to fight."

Trump came under intensive fire from some prominent Republicans in Congress, who put the blame for the day’s violence squarely on his shoulders.

"There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame," House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney said on Twitter.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a leading conservative from Arkansas, called on Trump to accept his election loss and "quit misleading the American people and repudiate mob violence."

A source familiar with the situation said there have been discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow a majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unable to perform his duties and remove him. A second source familiar with the effort doubted it would go anywhere with Trump having just two more weeks in office.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who had remained silent while Trump has sought to overturn the election result, called the invasion a "failed insurrection" and promised that "we will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation."

"We are back in our posts. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution, and for our nation. And we are going to do it tonight," he said.

'RECKLESS BEHAVIOR'

The shock of the assault on the Capitol seemed to soften the resolve of some Republicans who had supported Trump's efforts to convince Americans of his baseless claims of fraud.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (NYSE:GHM), one of Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress, rejected an effort by his fellow Republicans to object to election results in hopes of setting up a commission to investigate Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.

"All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough," Graham said on the floor of the Senate. "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on Jan. 20."

The Senate rejected by a 93-6 vote Republican objections to the certification of Biden's victory in the battleground state of Arizona, ensuring their defeat. The House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, also rejected the move, voting 303-121 against it.

After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said both chambers of Congress would resume consideration of the Electoral College results.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT). National Guard troops, FBI agents and U.S. Secret Service were deployed to help overwhelmed Capitol police. Guard troops and police pushed protesters away from the Capitol after the curfew took effect.

It was the most damaging attack on the iconic building since the British army burned it in 1814, according to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Biden, a Democrat who defeated the Republican president in the November election and is due to take office on Jan. 20, said the activity of the protesters "borders on sedition."

TRUMP REPEATS FALSE CLAIMS

In a video posted to Twitter while the rioters roamed the Capitol, Trump repeated his false claims about election fraud but urged the protesters to leave.

"You have to go home now, we have to have peace," he said, adding: "We love you. You're very special."

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) later restricted users from retweeting Trump's video, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) took it down entirely, citing the risk of violence. Twitter said later it had locked the account of Trump for 12 hours over "repeated and severe violations" of the social media platform's "civic integrity" rules and threatened permanent suspension.

Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the Nov. 3 contest, in which Biden won 7 million more votes than Trump.

Weeks have passed since the states completed certifying that Biden won in the Electoral College, which decides presidential elections, by a 306-232 vote. Trump's challenges to Biden's victory have been rejected by courts across the country.

Trump had pressed Pence to throw out election results in states the president narrowly lost, although Pence has no authority to do so. Pence said in a statement he could not accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally.

The mayhem stunned world leaders. "Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Under heavy guard, Congress back to work after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol
 

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Comments (82)
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Jan 07, 2021 12:03PM ET
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From now on, US should stop intervening other countries' administrations, because US is no better than others!!!
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Jan 07, 2021 8:53AM ET
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Orange POS should be locked up with Cruz and Gulliani for inciting !!
Freedom Fin
Freedom Fin Jan 07, 2021 6:49AM ET
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In USA, they were called mob, rioters; In Hongkong and Taiwan, they were called democracy activists. What a perfect double standard world!!!!
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jan 07, 2021 3:06AM ET
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Call for Amendment 25, NOW!
John Morgenstern
John Morgenstern Jan 07, 2021 3:06AM ET
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Please!
Chris Vu
Chris Vu Jan 07, 2021 2:38AM ET
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In another time and another country, Trump would have won the election with 90% votes. He can be classified on the same order as Putin, Xi, or Maduro. Unlucky for him, he was born in the greatest country of USA where the truth prevails. Only the crazy believes in his claim that election was stolen from him. He will face multiple lawsuits after Jan. 20 and hopefully he will be the first US President to go to jail.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 07, 2021 2:38AM ET
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You are quietly falling into the habd of Lenin, Putin, Xi, and you have no clue. Thus is right out of the communist manifesto.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 07, 2021 2:38AM ET
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Hire and send in a hundred disrupters to the peaceful rally...government trooos then have to forcebly remove, denounce and deligitimize the anti-communist right, gain more control using the event as sn excuse (like Facebook and Twitter SENSORING A PRESIDENT)....
Kwong To
Kwong To Jan 07, 2021 2:38AM ET
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Pls don't compare this low-life with Xi or Putin.
Amber Arbucci
Amber Arbucci Jan 07, 2021 2:37AM ET
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Where were the democrats thoughts when BLM was happening? They didnt say a peep. Not a word was mentioned to stop the towns literally being lit on fire, small business crushed, and the rikting and soread of covid. But now, stop the press and pause the twitter! Give me a break. Hypocrits. They know it too.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 07, 2021 2:37AM ET
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BLM and Antifa are extensions of the Communist party and intrumental to the eventual destruction of America.
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Jan 07, 2021 2:37AM ET
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that peep sounds about just as how many of this mob got locked up ?! none !!!!
Don Getty
Don Getty Jan 07, 2021 2:30AM ET
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I wonder if the GOP's kool aid haze has finally lifted and whether they will show some moral spine! I already know the blame game will be in full force tomorrow - going to be a long night for some old politicians in DC methinks!
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 07, 2021 2:30AM ET
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Are you serious, you want to see moral spine all of the sudden while the Democrats encited violence for 4 years and create further legislation to euthanize more himan offspring and release violent criminals? Wow.
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Jan 07, 2021 2:30AM ET
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The inaugural still has to come ?! im sure their nonsense will pop uo there !
Bob English
BobEnglish Jan 07, 2021 1:55AM ET
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trump and his hillbilly army. I watched the live broadcast. ridiculous.
Pongrac Kacsa
Pongrac Kacsa Jan 07, 2021 1:55AM ET
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"Let's make America ridiculous again"
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Jan 07, 2021 12:45AM ET
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trump will make America great again! After he will be kicked out of the white house
stanley shalala
stanley shalala Jan 07, 2021 12:45AM ET
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Looolllllll
Muhamed Jaffir
Muhamed Jaffir Jan 07, 2021 12:26AM ET
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Looked like a more peaceful BLM protest with less fires and looting.
Skyble Hm
Skyble Hm Jan 07, 2021 12:26AM ET
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You know there is a difference between storming the capitol after losing an election and fighting police violence.Well, at least politicly. It looked like a coup
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Jan 07, 2021 12:26AM ET
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Skyble Hm that’s because it was a coup
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Jan 07, 2021 12:13AM ET
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time of marginals and his twitter poplulist is over
Nick Knows
Nick Knows Jan 07, 2021 12:10AM ET
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can't wait for trump to start his own party, splitting republican base and securing democrat power for years
Mark Henline
Mark Henline Jan 06, 2021 10:48PM ET
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liars figure..but 11trillion figure sure dosent..
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Jan 06, 2021 10:06PM ET
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The trump supporters have no interest in democracy. Only a dictatorship with him on top will do. Well good luck with that..
Robert Sharp
Robert Sharp Jan 06, 2021 10:06PM ET
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When the dems pack the Supreme Court and put in place rules that shut out Republicans from all legislation input we'll see which party wants a dictator.. I, for one, do not.
Don Getty
Don Getty Jan 06, 2021 9:49PM ET
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Finally responsible adults in the country are now speaking out - only took the death of a woman in a ri ot in the capital building to get them to stand up to the tyrant in charge!
Nota Youza
notayouza Jan 06, 2021 9:41PM ET
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how about we just pray for both sides to be happy and have a good life in peace
David David
David9 Jan 06, 2021 9:35PM ET
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They need to lock Trump up in Jail until Biden comes in.... that's it.
Cody Heck
Cody Heck Jan 06, 2021 8:56PM ET
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Like having Trump in office four more years would make a difference. Trading out one corporatist for another.
Andrea Vassu
Andrea Vassu Jan 06, 2021 8:50PM ET
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He's out of his mind, 25 must be applied now!
Special Forces
Special Forces Jan 06, 2021 8:05PM ET
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WE make up America the Beautiful, please act with respect to our fellow Americans.
Don Getty
Don Getty Jan 06, 2021 8:05PM ET
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Zack Harding  so your good with a woman dying today because the GOP were playing games to appease a child in charge!
Stoxer One
Stoxer One Jan 06, 2021 8:05PM ET
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what about all the people that died during the blm riots?
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 8:05PM ET
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Don Getty you dont get to play that card...i dont know who shot the woman or why....what i do know is had the been auditing of ballets as the Democrats vehemetly blocked, there eould have been no rally at the capitol, i also know you and tge left and media have had zero outrage about dozens dead in Kenisha, Chicago, Portkand riots this year....take your fake morality to the csn.
Zhehui Liu
Zhehui Liu Jan 06, 2021 7:39PM ET
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If demos increase my tax, I will fight back
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 7:39PM ET
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What do you mean if? That’s the platform they ran on.
Mick Krever
Mick Krever Jan 06, 2021 7:39PM ET
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Will you fight with another virus?
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Jan 06, 2021 7:33PM ET
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This spells the end of the republicans. Now lets advance to having a multi party system in this country so that all opinions can be represented in a civilised way
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 7:33PM ET
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You have seen what hapoens when you disagree with the leftist regime right?
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 7:33PM ET
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Read through this thread the whole thing and educate yourself on how left represent their civilized opinions, it’s rather amusing.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Jan 06, 2021 7:28PM ET
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These republican terrorists now have blood on their hands
Horde NotTrade
Horde NotTrade Jan 06, 2021 7:28PM ET
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Maybe Washington will represent us when they fear us.
Zack Persie
Zack Persie Jan 06, 2021 7:25PM ET
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Trump has truly made America into banana republic. "Congratulation" to those supporting Trump for destroying America in the eyes of the world.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 7:25PM ET
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Yeah, its Trump, not the fanatical left trying to impeach him for 4 years..
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory Jan 06, 2021 7:19PM ET
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No justice No peace for 4 years. Biden isn't legit. Deal with it. We're in your face 4 years..
 
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